Brown Sugar Tips and Tricks

January 5, 2007
Wooden Scoop of Brown Sugar

Soften Hard Brown Sugar

For hard brown sugar, wet a paper towel, wrap it around the sugar and in a few hours or less, it will be soft.

By Ginny



An easy way to soften brown sugar is to simply place it in the microwave for a few seconds! (Not long enough to melt it of course, just to soften it)

By Aneita

Add A Slice Of Bread

Place a piece of bread in with the brown sugar and it will soften, in a few hours.

By Chelsey

Freeze Then Microwave

When finding my brown sugar had gotten hard and not wanting to toss it I put some in the freezer. When I need some to make cookies I decided to microwave it. It turned out fine. It seemed to work better after being frozen. I now freeze my brown sugar once it starts getting hard.

By RoseMary B. from Texas Creek, CO

Use A Food Processor

I chop it up in the food processor if it has gotten hard.

By Ed

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10 More Solutions

This page contains the following solutions.

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 288 Posts
March 1, 2012

I use a small glass to press down brown sugar in my measuring cup. You could use a jelly glass also. I got these 5 oz measuring glasses at Walmart for about $1 each (made in the U.S.A.


too) and they are just the right size for my hands.

Brown Sugar



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

November 13, 2007

How many cups are in a 1lb bag of brown sugar?

Abear from LA


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 290 Feedbacks
November 13, 20070 found this helpful

It's simple math, 1 cup = 8 oz., 2 cups = 16 oz. I'm referring to brown sugar that isn't packed.


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 407 Feedbacks
November 14, 20070 found this helpful

You can't compare 8 ounces liquid measure to 8 ounces of weight. Everything you put in an 8 oz liquid measuring cup will weigh something different.


Cooks Illustrated says that one packed cup of brown sugar weighs 7 ounces. So one pound will yeild just over 2 1/4 cups.


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 472 Feedbacks
November 15, 20070 found this helpful

Brown sugar is sold by weight, not volume (like honey), so one cup will not be 8 ounces like most things.

November 15, 20070 found this helpful

Hi Abear

I believe it is sold by weight. I'm not very sure on cup measurements.

Oh by the way...I sure wish you would come back to visit us at family corner. We miss you lots. Don't know if you remember me or not. You are from my hometown.


Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
November 16, 20070 found this helpful

2 1/2 Cups of brown sugar packed = 1 pound

By Stephen (Guest Post)
December 13, 20070 found this helpful

2.3 cups of sugar per pound

By Tim (Guest Post)
October 4, 20080 found this helpful

A 2lb bag lists 226 teaspoon servings per bag. Just convert that into cups and you find that 1 lb of brown sugar is 2.3541667 cups. Just round that to 2 and 1/3 cups and you got it!

December 16, 20200 found this helpful

There are approximately 2 1/4 cups of packed brown sugar in 1 lb of brown sugar. It doubles for 2 lbs.

December 17, 20200 found this helpful

There are approximately 2 1/4 cups of packed brown sugar in 1 lb of brown sugar. It doubles for 2 lbs.

Answer this Question

February 29, 2008

When a recipe calls for 'packed brown sugar' what is this? We have ordinary brown sugar and treacle sugar here in South Africa. I'm not sure what the 'packed' is.

Carolyn from South Africa


February 29, 20080 found this helpful

"Smoosh" the brown sugar down in the measuring cup with the bottom of a large spoon.

It means packed vs. loose. For it to be the correct amount you don't want to be able to shake the sugar in the measuring cup.

February 29, 20080 found this helpful

Is your brown sugar the dry (natural) kind or the moist kind? When they are referring to packed brown sugar, they mean the moist kind that is pressed tightly into a measuring cup so that there are no air pockets when measuring.


If you are using dry brown (or white) sugar, to make the equivilent of 1 cup of the moist, brown sugar take 1 cup of dry sugar and add 4T. of molasses to it (or the recipe) to get the right flavor and the extra moisture that the recipe needs.

March 3, 20080 found this helpful

Packed brown sugar is regular brown sugar that you must push all the way down and keep adding and pushing till you get the measurement needed. HTH


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 378 Feedbacks
March 3, 20080 found this helpful

It just means you need to measure accurately without gaps and air pockets.

By OnSheRoars (Guest Post)
April 10, 20080 found this helpful

What ever unit of measure you are using,(cup, spoon, etc.) it should be "packed" in firmly. It should keep the shape of the utensil when you tap it out to use.

Answer this Question

November 30, 2014

Can you use brown sugar instead of white?



November 30, 20140 found this helpful

You can use brown sugar in place of white. Just be aware that it may change the color and taste of the dish slightly. For example, cookies will be a darker color when baked.


It will taste sweeter because of the molasses in brown sugar. Be sure to stir the brown sugar into your wet ingredients as brown sugar does not dissolve as well as white.

November 30, 20140 found this helpful

Brown sugar is moister, too, so you might want just a little less water or milk.

December 16, 20140 found this helpful

I sub brown sugar for white sugar as much as possible! It makes your baked goods have such a deeper, richer taste due to the molasses but it will make the color darker.


So if the color matters I would not substitute it, or only substitute 1/2 the amount of the white sugar.

Answer this Question

January 22, 2015

What do I use to spread brown sugar evenly?

By Bud from Quincy, IL


Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 220 Answers
January 22, 20150 found this helpful

Difficult to answer your question as we are not sure exactly why you are spreading brown sugar, on what surface (cake, cookies, candy etc.), using the brown sugar dry or wet, what tool you have tried so far, etc.


Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 409 Answers
July 29, 20170 found this helpful

I just sprinkle it with my hand.

Answer this Question

December 4, 2017

Hard brown sugar can be softened with a piece of apple in the closed container or by heating it in the microwave. This is a page about softening brown sugar.

A bowl of soft brown sugar.

November 2, 2013

This page tells how to make your own brown sugar at home. You can easily make your own brown sugar by adding 2 tablespoons of molasses to 1 cup of granulated sugar.

Brown Sugar

February 9, 2021

Brown sugar can actually cures wounds and bruises. If you have been lately in an accident, like falling from a bicycles or falling from trees, and you get bruises and wounds, you can immediately apply brown sugar.

A bowl of brown sugar.

August 12, 2020

Brown sugar is a great pantry staple to have on hand but it can get hard if not stored properly. An airtight container is a must and many people store a piece of bread to absorb excess moisture.

Brown sugar being stored in an airtight cannister.

October 19, 2018

Brown sugar frequently turns into a hard lump in the container. Here are some great tips for keeping it soft. This is a page about keeping brown sugar soft.

Soft brown dark sugar and unrefined sugar cane .

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